300 year history internet dating

In the past three decades, dating has become more of a process that can last for years before marriage is even considered.

As generations change, so does the idea of dating and how one finds a companion.

Matrimonial agencies were big business there by the early 18th century, printing ads on behalf of men who paid the agency to recruit them a good wife.

Being single passed the age of 21 was considered almost shameful in that era, and the ads were often a last resort for the men who advertised and the women who read them.

In between, the social acceptance of personals has waxed and waned with the times.

"Advertising for a husband or wife has always attracted criticism and the people who did it were always thought of as failures in some way.

But, when the Internet was conceived, it connected us all, thus personal ads went digital and the Internet dating service was born.

The book explores the social history of the personal ad in Britain from its start in the 1700's, through World War II and lonely soldiers looking for a lady friend, to today where online dating sites and online classifieds have taken over from the newspaper.

Visit Live Science for a bit more information on the subject or Amazon for details on purchasing the book.

"In Britain, the personal column was suspected (much like the Internet is now) of harboring all sorts of scams, perversities and dangerous individuals.

At least that is what the police tended to think, and they only stopped prosecuting lonely hearts ads in the late 1960s — until then they often thought that they were mainly placed by prostitutes and gay men," Cocks said.

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